New York town's experimental Medicare subsidy program underperforming

Jamestown, N.Y., officials accepted a $1.5 million state grant to transition retirees from the city's self-funded health coverage to Medicare plans, but the program's utilization has been far lower than expected, according to The Post-Journal.

The retired employees on Jamestown's insurance plan outnumber current employees, which costs the city government nearly $2.2 million per year. The grant, from the state Financial Restructuring Board for Local Governments, was meant to authorize Northwest Financial Services to offer retirees Blue Cross Medicare plans and Arcade Financial Services to offer retirees United Healthcare Medicare plans in an effort to lower the city's insurance costs.

City officials expected $600,000 in savings this year from the program and accounted for that figure in their 2018 budget, estimating 25-30 percent of retired city employees would utilize it. However, this year's savings will only amount to $300,000. It is unclear how this difference will be reflected in the budget.

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